In a poignant scene, a female elephant refused to part with its dead calf for the second consecutive day at Pandalur in the Nilgiris district on Thursday.
According to sources, estate workers, on hearing the unusual trumpeting of wild elephants on Wednesday evening, had informed the Forest department. A team led by senior officials then arrived at the spot and used firecrackers to drive the members of the herd away. However, the mother jumbo refused to leave the spot.
As the officials continued with their efforts to drive the female elephant away, the animal turned furious and charged on them. While the staff ran away for safety, the elephant damaged two jeeps and ten two-wheelers parked nearby. It also damaged a temple in the vicinity, sources said.
After several hours of failed battle to retrieve the dead calf for carrying out a post mortem, the Forest staff left the spot. The attack by the mother elephant continued when the team returned on Thursday for another attempt. Besides, the adult elephant also dragged its calf lying in the bushes to the road, leading to traffic disruption. The Foresters were forced to suspend their operation for the second day.
“We expect the mother elephant to leave on Friday as the carcass of the calf has already begun to decay and is emitting foul smell. Then, the body will be retrieved and a post mortem performed to know the exact reason for its death,” a senior Forest department staffer said.